5A baseball MVP: Bingham's Chase Tavonatti
One of the biggest moments of Chase Tavonatti's senior year at Bingham was when the Miners headed to the USA Baseball High School Invitational in North Carolina just more than two months ago.
Tavonatti threw a shutout as Bingham romped to a 10-0 victory against a then-nationally ranked team from Asheville, N.C., in the opening game of that tournament.
But the biggest highlight of the year?
That would be the Class 5A state title run for the Miners. The senior relishes the day Bingham seized the 5A trophy even though he threw only the last inning of the title game because he pitched seven frames three days earlier in a quarterfinal win against Syracuse.
"That's the game you always look forward to," Tavonatti said. "The one you've been thinking about all season."
Tavonatti finished with an 8-1 record on the mound this season and plans on playing at Salt Lake Community College in 2013-14.
Bingham coach Joey Sato thinks the Bruins are a good fit for Tavonatti.
"Once that process was over [picking a college], he was able to relax and concentrate," Sato said. "Chase was our No. 1 on the mound for sure. He can pitch, he can get guys out, and he's one of the best competitors I've ever had."
Tavonatti believes two years at SLCC will help hone some already considerable pitching skills. His velocity already is as high as the upper 80s.
In the meantime, he'll play summer ball with the Utah Marshalls, a team that Bryce Harper had a stint with before going to the majors with the Washington Nationals.
And Tavonatti can soak up some memories, too.
"All 11 of the seniors have been best friends ever since our freshman year," Tavonatti said about his Bingham teammates. "It's kind of funny. When we were putting our state rings together, we debated putting the season record (22-7) on it, because we kind of expected we could have done better.
"It's all right though. It still says 'State Champs,' so it was all good."